How To Grow Tropicals In Cold Climates
We are located in zone 8a where zone 10 tropical fruits are only a greenhouse thing. We now often use this pot in pot method to shake-up the landscape with palms, bamboo and flowering tropicals.
This is the way we do it and it only takes a few hours! Remember, when winter comes all you have to do is lift your pots out of the ground and store them in a heated garage for the winter, then drop them back in their holes in the spring.
Fortunately one of our neighbors had a new tractor with an auger bit. We suggest if your potting more than 5 trees to go ahead and rent or hire someone with a bobcat or a tractor, these 7 holes only took 15 minutes to drill by machine, pretty sure a shovel would have taken longer.
To get the pots in a straight line we pulled a tape line and marked 6 foot centers with a small block of wood.
The trees are lined up and ready to plant. For this little area we chose smaller growing tropical fruits trees that produce fruit at an early age. Acerola Cherry, Star Fruit, Papaya, Surinam Cherry and Sundrops Eugenia Victoriana.
Total time about 4 hours work with 2 people a tractor and a slacker with a camera.
The most important step in growing pot in pot tropicals is to set your irrigation timer properly, as to not over or under water, our timer is set for 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes again in the evening. Be sure to use two dippers per pot just in case one clogs. It is best to use rigid pots for the in-ground sleeve. In the winter you may want to cover the holes with a rigid disc.
Lucky for us we have over 400 mother plants that can be rotated in our pot-in-pot gardens. We often swap to palms and flowering tropicals if the fruit trees have finished for the year.